AP source contradicts Goodell: Law enforcement sent Ray Rice tape to an NFL executive in April

This should about wrap things up for the Goodell era.

A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week.

The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”…

The person said he sent a DVD copy of the security camera video to an NFL office and included his contact information. He asked the AP not to release the name of the NFL executive, for fear that the information would identify the law enforcement official as the source…

Rice and Janay Palmer — now Janay Rice — can be heard shouting obscenities at each other [in the copy of the video shown to the AP], and she appears to spit at Rice right before he throws a brutal punch. After she collapses, he drags her out of the elevator and is met by some hotel staff. One of them can be heard saying, “She’s drunk, right?” And then, “No cops.”

A spokesman for the New Jersey AG’s office says it would have been illegal for the local DA to share a copy of the tape with an outside entity like the NFL while the grand jury was weighing charges, which may explain why the AP’s source is so keen on anonymity here. I wonder if Goodell will have the stones to claim that he was only trying to protect the source from getting fired by keeping the league’s knowledge of the video under wraps.

Here he is yesterday assuring Norah O’Donnell that no one knew nothin’ about nothin’. Make sure you read this Deadspin post from a few days ago for a gloss on that. A reporter at Sports Ilustrated claimed in July that people at the NFL had seen the elevator tape; another ESPN reporter said this week she was told the NFL had access to the same evidence the cops did when they issued Rice’s suspension. Best-case scenario for Goodell here: Outside media knows more about what’s going on inside his office than he does. Unless, of course, he deliberately kept himself in the dark so that he could plead ignorance later.

No worries. When Condi’s in charge, she’ll run a tight ship. Five strong years at the top of the NFL food chain and she’ll be golden in challenging President Hillary in 2020.

Update: The NFL denies everything. Meanwhile, what was I just saying about willful ignorance?

The Baltimore Ravens knew shortly after Ray Rice knocked out his wife in a hotel elevator that a surveillance video of the assault existed and that Rice’s lawyer had a copy of the video, but never asked to see it, sources told ABC News today.

And the claim by Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, that the league was unaware of the brutality of Rice’s assault on his then-fiancee Janay Palmer has also come under a cloud because a police report at the time stated clearly that Rice committed assault “by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”…

The Ravens team also asked the hotel for the full video, but were told by the Revel they couldn’t give it out to anyone except someone who was a party to what’s on the tape or to law enforcement, the sources said. But Revel officials told the team that Rice’s attorney had a copy and the Ravens should ask the lawyer for the tape, the sources told ABC News.

They never asked Rice’s lawyer for the tape. If the team knew where the tape was, the league must have known too. They could have issued an ultimatum to Rice and his attorney: Give us the tape so we can see what happened or we’ll assume the worst and give you a severe suspension. Why didn’t they?

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